Great idea, Jon, and I have a perfect first rumor to clarify!
Rumor: IT is going to replace SmartBoards with something else that may not be compatible with SmartNotebook Software.
Clarification: IT is always willing to work with program staff and make sure only technology that works for you all and your students is installed. Some facts are listed below, as well as, reasoning for moving from SmartBoards to SmartDisplays where possible.
SmartDisplays (as they’re called) are built by Smart and are fully compatible with SmartNotebook as SmartBoards are. SmartDisplays come in 65", 75" and 86" sizes. Those sizes are on the diagonal like TVs are. SmartDisplays do not require a projector, so there isn’t the added cost of the bulb replacements or risk of a large expense when the projector fails. They also have a longer life cycle than SmartBoards.
SmartBoards are still in production and are larger/taller at roughly 78" W by 53" H. They have the added potential expense with projector failures and regular bulb replacements. SmartBoards have a shorter life cycle than SmartDisplays.
Touch Displays (not SmartNotebook compatible) would be an option in a classroom that does not use SmartNotebook software, but the teacher would like the touch capability in order to maneuver at the display instead of having to use their laptop/desktop to scroll or click a button.
Non-Touch Displays (not SmartNotebook compatible) would be an option in a classroom that does not use SmartNotebook software and the touch functionality is not needed. This would be much like having a projector and white screen. A white screen and projector would offer more real-estate than a display. The display is less expensive and does not have the added cost of regular bulb replacements. A display also has a longer life expectancy.
Again, we would never make a decision that had a negative impact in the classroom. Care and Treatment for example, has had a number of new sites and classrooms over the past two years. They have “standardized” on SmartBoards for Elementary/Middle age student classrooms and SmartDisplays for Middle/High School age student classrooms, because of the height of the students and their ability to easily reach the board/display.
I welcome any further discussion or questions about this topic and hope this post resolves some potential angst the rumor may have caused.